What are you passionate about? What would be the right major for you? What does your gut feeling tell you? Learn more here about how to decide what to study.
You've decided to pursue an academic degree? Learn more here about the opportunities available to you after earning a "Matura"/"Abitur", or your university entrance qualifications. We can help you make the right decision.
Why should I pursue an academic degree?
Are you still not sure if earning a degree is the right path for you? Holding a university degree has many advantages:
- Acquire expertise that you can later apply professionally.
- Improve your career options and promotion prospects.
- Start a career with a higher salary.
- Meet new people and build your social contacts to create a network.
- Expand your horizons by studying abroad.
What program is best for me and suits my interests?
Think about the things you're interested in, your talents, values, and goals. What seems like a good fit? Think about a few future scenarios. Where do you see yourself later on in life?
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I have so many different interests. How can I choose just one major?
Collect information about the majors you are interested in and compare the curricula - compare the content and main areas of focus. Also, find out about the prospective career opportunities. Making a "pro-and-con" list for each program will help you make a more informed decision.
I have shortlisted a few degree programs. Can I experience student life first-hand?
The JKU has a "Study for a Day" program for prospective students, an annual Student Information Fair (SIM), organizes visits to your school, provides online campus tours, and organizes the JKU Young Scientists program. We invite you to get to know us here better - we have a lot to offer:
STUDY FOR A DAY Are you interested in one of our academic degree programs? Visit our JKU campus and hang out with a JKU student. You can attend a class and get first-hand information about studying at the JKU. Click here for sign up.Sign Up
CAMPUS TOURS Click here to sign up for an online campus tour.Sign Up
JKU YOUNG SCIENTISTS Workshops in computer science, electronics and information technology, mathematics, mechatronics, physics and chemistry/polymer technology. A program for students in the 10th class and up.Learn More
KEEP UP-TO-DATE What are the new degree programs? When is the next Info Session? What's going on at the JKU campus? Our newsletter for prospective students lets you know about these things and more.Sign Up - Newsletter
What else should I consider when choosing where to study?
Take a closer look at the campus and the surrounding area. What is there to do during your free time? What is student housing like and where would you live? Meeting new people and making new friends is easier when living in a student dorm or in a shared flat.
What if I ended up not picking the right major after all?
Each and every student has his or her ups and downs. If you learn more about the details of your program in advance, not much can go wrong. Nevertheless, during your studies you may find your focus or interest have shifted. If you find yourself increasingly unhappy in your program, we recommend finding an alternative.
What do I do when family members want to plan my future?
Those at home often just have your best interests at heart. Whether it's about taking over the family business or getting unsolicited advice about choosing what to study, it is important that you put your own interests first.
What does it cost to study and is financial aid available?
Students at all public universities and colleges are generally subject to general tution fees. Information about financial aid and scholarships/grants is available here:
Can I work in addition to studying?
Students enrolled in a part-time program can work as the program has been structured to accommodate working students. If you wish to enroll in a full-time program, working part-time is principally feasible as there is a certain degree of flexibility at the university and the amount of work required varies from person to person. Also make note of the limit regarding any additional income, especially if you are receiving a family subsidy or financial aid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find academic advising services?
If you have specific questions about a degree program at the JKU, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Information & Academic Advising Services (SIBS): firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not yet sure about your options and what's right for you once you have passed your Matura examination, you can talk with someone at the Office of Student Psychological Counseling Services free of charge: email@example.com.
Detailed information about the Office of Student Psychological Counseling Services is available on their website.
How do I learn more about my strengths and interests?
In order to find out more about your strengths and interests, ask yourself a few questions such as: "What subjects do I like and enjoy most at school and why? Which of my summer jobs have I liked so far and what exactly did I like about them? What hobbies do I enjoy in particular and what is it that I like so much about them?". Use your skills of observation in your environment and ask your family, classmates and friends what they think your strengths are.
How do I find out which program is a good fit for me?
To help discover what best fits your interests, talents, and life goals, ask yourself a series of questions again, such as, "Where do I see myself in ten or fifteen years? What values and goals in life are important to me? Where am I willing to make compromises or not? What am I especially talented at? How well do my interests match up with my talents? How well have I done my research to find out about the educational opportunities out there? How much time, energy, and money am I prepared to invest in order to reach my goals?" In addition, filling out questionnaires to assess your abilities can help provide good suggestions for a profession or major that suits you.
The Office of Student Psychological Counseling Services is happy to help free of charge and talk with you, provide information, conduct an assessment test, or figure out options based on your answers to a questionnaire.
In general, what kinds of educational opportunities do I have after passing the "Matura" exam?
There are many educational opportunities in Austria once you have passed your "Matura" examination. In addition to apprenticeships (in fields of engineering or business, for example), teacher training institutions (to pursue a profession in education) and in-company training (to become a train dispatcher or flight attendant, for example), academies and dual academies, colleges (to become a kindergarten teacher or pursue a profession requiring education in chemistry or photography) and health institutions, there is a wide range of academic degree programs available at educational universities, universities, and universities of applied sciences as well as dual studies.
How can I decide between several alternatives?
Review the available opportunities and once you have selected a few programs and narrowed your options, you need to weigh them against each other. The best way is to consider whether or not these options are line with your personal goals and values in life. Once you know what is important to you and how you picture your future, you will be able to weigh the pros and cons of various educational programs for yourself.
We recommend creating a list of pros & cons to review various factors that could play a role in your decision, such as job prospects, where the program takes place, how long is the program, what are the housing options, what is the admissions procedure, should I attend a university or university of applied sciences, etc. In order to be able to best assess these factors, you need information. This is why - in addition to self-examination - we recommend conducting extensive research in advance. Don't forget that a pros & cons list is something very specific and individual to each person and a "con" on someone else's list may be a "pro" on your list.
Once you have looked at all of the alternatives and made your list, weigh the pros & cons. There may be a number of cons for some programs and you will have to exclude the one or other option but where you have more pros, you can make a decision about that program. Little by little, you will be able to find out what suits you best as well as what the best alternatives are.
The program I'm interested in has an admissions procedure.
What do I have to take into consideration?
Make sure you take note of the deadline(s) for the academic degree program(s) you are interested in. These often vary from degree programs that do not have an admissions procedure.
We also strongly recommend making a "Plan B" in the event you do not pass the admissions procedure and therefore you are not accepted to the degree program of your choice. You could consider a gap year or choosing another major.
University or University of Applied Sciences (FH)?
What type of institution is a better fit for me?
Choosing the type of university to attend depends on what you want to study as well as what your personal preferences are. For example, if you would like to be given a set schedule for your courses, a university of applied sciences may be a good fit for you. If you prefer scheduling your own courses to fit your personal schedule, you would be in good hands at a university.
Should I start university studies right after graduating from school?
The majority of students start their university studies immediately after graduating from school or after having taken a gap year. However, you won't have any disadvantages if you prefer to acquire work experience first before you begin to pursue an academic degree.
Does my scholastic background play a role in choosing a major?
No. When you start an academic degree program, you start from "scratch", so to say. This way, students can be brought up to the same level before diving deeper into the subject matter. Naturally, however, your scholastic background can help you navigate certain subject areas better. There are some degree programs that allow you to transfer academic credit for certain school subjects or you can take part in preparation courses offered by faculty members at the JKU.
Still have questions?
Do you still have specific questions about a degree program or you need help registering?
The JKU Office of Student Information and Academic Advising Services (SIBS) is more than happy to assist you! Our team can answer all of your questions from A to Z.